Checklist For Gun Owners When Drawing Up Their Wills

Gun And Rosary
Checklist For Gun Owners When Drawing Up Their Wills
The Arbalest Quarrel
The Arbalest Quarrel

New York, N.Y. –-( In the previous posts of this multi-series article on The Arbalest Quarrel we looked at several Statutes impacting the transfer of firearms to one’s heirs. In this post we deal with a short list of issues to be addressed when creating our updating a will with regards to firearms.

To begin, the owner of a firearm or collection of firearms must, of course, be mindful of the laws pertaining to bequests of firearms. And, let it be understood, we are here talking about lawful ownership of firearms and the lawful transfer of firearms, not criminal possession and criminal transfers of firearms.

Things to Consider:

· Accurately describe all firearms in your collection

· Be sure to provide the executor or administrator of your estate with clear, comprehensive, and explicit instructions for disposing of your firearms, so that all Federal and State gun laws, as well as applicable local ordinances, are adhered to.

· Determine whether each of your heirs to whom you wish to bequeath one or more firearms is eligible to own firearms generally, and, further, is eligible to possess the particular firearms you wish to bequeath to each heir.

· Confirm that each of your heirs has the necessary State issued licenses and permits, if gun licenses or permits are required in that State.

· Do your heirs all live in one State? if not, what other State do one or more of your heirs live in, to whom you wish to bequeath one or more of your firearms?

· Are you familiar with the laws of each jurisdiction in which you own and possess firearms and in which each of your heirs live to whom you wish to bequeath your firearms?

· Are you familiar with the possible impact of Federal law on transfers of firearms to heirs. Federal Law as well as State law may have a decisive impact on the transfer of some or all of your firearms.

· Are any of your firearms classified as ‘assault weapons’ under the law of the jurisdiction where your heir or heirs reside?

· Do you own weapons that are classified as ‘machine guns?’ If so, you must definitely be familiar with Federal law as well as State law, concerning the transfer of those weapons to your heirs. There are specific eligibility requirements for ownership of and possession of fully automatic and selective fire weapons.

· If you own guns defined as machine guns, do your heirs have the appropriate current and valid federal licenses that would allow them to take possession of machine guns?

· Have you confirmed whether your heirs even wish to own and possess the particular firearm or firearms you wish to bequeath to them? You may presume, wrongly, that your heirs wish to take possession of your firearms. This is one type of property – unlike jewelry or expensive art or gold bullion or blue chip stocks or cash – where your presumption may be completely erroneous.

· Suppose, at the time of your death, one or more of your heirs, to whom you wish to bequeath your firearms, is no longer eligible to possess firearms. Or, suppose your State’s gun laws change and eligible recipients of your firearms, at the time you made out your will, are no longer eligible to receive certain firearms. Have you made arrangements for an alternative disposition of your firearms in the event that one or more of your heirs, to whom you wish to bequeath your firearms, is no longer eligible to possess firearms at the time of your death because of changed circumstances in that person’s life or in the event of further, perhaps, even more draconian changes in your State’s gun laws that make it impossible for an executor or administrator to lawfully transfer firearms to your heirs?

· What are the penalties that your executor, or administrator, or heirs might face for failure to adhere to all applicable laws pertaining to the lawful transfer of and possession of firearms? Know those laws! And, be certain that the executor or administrator of your testamentary will and that your heirs, too, are knowledgeable about the laws.

For those readers who are interested in a much more detailed examination of this topic we cordially invite you to read our blog post at

About The Arbalest Quarrel
Arbalest Group created `The Arbalest Quarrel’ website for a special purpose. That purpose is to educate the American public about recent Federal and State firearms control legislation. No other website, to our knowledge, provides as deep an analysis or as thorough an analysis. Arbalest Group offers this information free.

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brian winters

Small point but you show the handgun with a crucifix. This is a symbol of Catholicism. As a Baptist I would not use a crucifix. Let alone any non Christian members of the forum. I am not politically correct by any means just a heads up.

fish hunter

Thirty years ago, I would have agreed with you, but since the wars in the Middle East, I believe my definition of a cross has become a sign of Christianity. When western nations are referred to as infidel, I suspect I am right. I guess this might pose a problem for the Jewish, but they would also oppose the Muslim ideal and not mind a picture of a pistol with a cross.